Well, we thought it would never happen, but it looks like 28 Months Later, the third film in the “infected” series begun by 28 Days Later, is finally making progress. Speaking to The Independent, Danny Boyle said on 24 June that he’s collaborating with Alex Garland (the writer of the first movie) to move the project forward.
“Alex Garland and I have a wonderful idea for the third part. It’s properly good. The original film led to a bit of a resurgence in the zombie drama and it doesn’t reference any of that. It doesn’t feel stale at all.”
Great! But before you get overexcited, “[Alex] is concentrating on directing his own work at the moment, so it’s stood in abeyance really, but it’s a you-never-know.”
The film was first mentioned by Boyle in 2007, which is over a decade of development hell. He then discussed it in 2010, saying he’d been keen to write and direct it (Boyle didn’t direct the sequel, 28 Weeks Later), but in 2012 Alex Garland countered the subsequent rumours.
“I’m still so proud of 28 Days Later and how well it’s been received over the years so I appreciate that. But in regards to another movie, no – there are no plans for a ‘28 Months Later‘ or whatever they were calling it,” he said.
“This is a series I’ve always been heavily involved with between the original and the sequel so if there were plans for another movie, I would absolutely know about it.”
Boyle then seemed to pivot slightly away from the project, a year after Garland’s comments.
“It’s very difficult to know whether zombies are overexposed now as a concept. So it’s 40/60 whether it happens or not. But we did have an idea of where to set it and what it might be about,” he explained.
Then in 2015, Boyle offered a more positive update, saying: “I’ve got no problem [with 28 Months Later],” he explained. “It’s not about whether people think it’s a good idea that you’re directing. It’s whether you respond to the script or not.
“It’s just like on [Steve Jobs]. I got the script and I went, ‘That was amazing. I hope I can add to that somehow and it be even better than just the experience of reading it.'”
Alex Garland also started to sound more optimistic in 2015.
“We’ve just started talking about it seriously,” he said. “We’ve got an idea.”
“Danny and Andrew and I have been having quite serious conversations about it, so it is a possibility. It’s complicated.
“There’s a whole bunch of reasons why it’s complicated, which are boring so I won’t go into, but there’s a possibility.”
To summarise – it sounds like Boyle and Garland have finally overcome whatever obstacles that were slowing them down and are speeding towards production like faster than someone infected with a rage virus.
So, while we wait for more news, we’ve filled a shopping bag full of supplies, and wandered out into a world of speculation about what will happen next in this on-going saga.
28 Months Later release date: When will it be out?
Significantly, Danny Boyle doesn’t have anything on his upcoming slate, once Yesterday hits cinemas. Fascinatingly, all Alex Garland has coming up is post-production work on his FX series Devs (which is already shot), and a screenplay credit for Halo (which has already been written, and is being revised by Game Of Thrones’ DB Weiss).
So, they both have space in their diaries. If they really are working on 28 Months Later as the next project, we’d expect an autumn 2021 release date. Failing that, a 20th anniversary release in 2022 has a nice ring to it.
That’s pure speculation, but there are plenty of reasons to suspect 28 Months Later could be their next project. For Boyle, Yesterday will be a box-office hit, but it’s not exactly ‘cool’ is it? 28 Months Later will be a chance to bring back some much-needed credibility for the director.
Garland is off the back of some career disappointment, after Annihilation got shoved on to Netflix instead of into cinemas (a move he was openly critical of). That was a setback following the critical and audience acclaim of Ex Machina. Get 28 Months Later right and he’d be back on cinematic track.
28 Months Later cast: Who’ll be in it?
28 Weeks Later wasn’t a direct sequel to the original and followed different characters (played by Robert Carlyle, Rose Byrne, Idris Elba and Jeremy Renner, among others) affected by the outbreak. But 28 Days Later was left open-ended enough to justify a direct sequel, especially if the same writer/director team are going to be driving the third instalment. We’d love to catch up with Jim, Selena, and Hannah to see how they survived the onslaught of angry ill people in their country cottage.
Cillian Murphy is currently filming A Quiet Place 2 but has space in his (announced) schedule after that’s out in 2020. Interestingly enough, Naomie Harris also has a free schedule after Bond 25 is released in 2020.
Even more fascinatingly, the actress who played Hannah, Megan Burns, hadn’t acted since the release of the first film in 2002 – until last year, when she appeared in a short film. Was she getting into professional shape for a return to the franchise?
28 Months Later plot: What will it be about?
That’s slightly impossible to predict, especially as Alex Garland said he came up with the idea after ‘taking a trip.’ That makes us think it’ll be closer to Annihilation than Ex Machina in terms of tone, but we’ll have to wait and see. As soon as we have any plot information, we’ll report it here – so bookmark this page for all the latest scoops and speculation.
28 Months Later trailer: When will we see it?
Not for a while yet, but rest assured we’ll stick it straight into this feature as soon as it lands (probably in around 18 months time).
Until then, you can watch the intense (and slightly unintelligible) trailer for the first film, so you can reflect on how times have changed in the years between.